Monday, November 16, 2009

pure magic.

Forgetting the hords of tourists, red plastic chairs, ridiculous chatter, and how tired I was, this photos just about conveys the experience of an elusive sunrise at Angkor Wat.
I spend a bit of time thinking about how photos have almost over taken the actual travel experience. No photo can properly convey the dicomfort, humidity, heat, and annoyances of travel here. The smells and sounds are lost, the dust, torrential rains, and sweat fade as we reduce our travels down to a series of images. Yet we persist with our obsession of capturing our travels visually, we walk around seeing places through a view finder, more focused on our photos than on giving pause to exactly where we find ourselves. People tell me over and over that without their photos they might forget where they've been and what they've done. I can't imagine that one could ever forget the majesty of Angkor Wat, nor Tikal, nor the Pyramids. Even though countless photos have been taken of these monuments we still need proof that we have been there. Of course one photo of us posed awkwardly in front of these places will not do. We need hundreds of images, and these days I wonder what we even do with them. Thousands of unfocused images make their way onto facebook, we email some back and forth, but mostly they just sit, taking up hard drives.
I often pause in my frenzy to document the beauty of the places I travel and try to just absorb the moment. I notice the heat pressing down on me, my annoyance at the trivial things people manage to talk about in the presence of such beauty, how my eyes ache with tiredness, the empty rumble in my stomach, the itch of the mozzie bite on my ankle, and how the sky went from indigo to almost white with guazy peach clouds stretched across it's curve.
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1 comment:

frequently three seat said...

So's this entry, pure magic.

I was showing a class of kids at Redwood HS a video about Ansel Adams. An AA photo might go farther than most to convey the moment and the sensation of what is being snapped, and that was his quest (in part): to somehow convey the transcendance of the Sierra (or desert, or etc).

With a few exceptions of kids who were transfixed, most of the youth were way more interested in the transcendence of being with their friends in a darkened classroom. In the moment, they were being just who they are. Little meerkats.